Departing Cobbetts banking partner fires parting shot at Birmingham strategy

Cobbetts Birmingham banking head Duncan Murray has delivered a stinging parting shot as he becomes the 24th partner to leave the firm in the past two years.

Murray has quit to join Midlands firm Needham & James and is lamenting Cobbetts’ strategy in Birmingham.

“Cobbetts has problems and I think its position in the Birmingham marketplace has been badly handled,” said Murray.

Cobbetts managing partner Michael Shaw rejected the claim, saying: “I don’t agree, but Duncan is entitled to hold any views he cares.”

Murray’s departure is the latest in a string of losses from Manchester-based Cobbetts, which has haemorrhaged 24 partners in the last two financial years and has embarked on a redundancy programme to shed a further 20.

Shaw said Sean Reardon, formerly at the firm’s Manchester office, had replaced Murray as head of the Birmingham banking team in January. Reardon is assisted by three associates.

Needhams senior partner and head of banking John Hughes explained that Murray’s hire reflects a wider strategy of building the banking group, which recruited Shoosmiths banking partner Vicky Simpson last year.